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Inside the Lear Innovation Center in Capitol Park

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Lear Innovation Center Michelle & Chris Gerard

Last September, Lear Corporation purchased the former Brown Brothers Tobacco Company building at 119 State Street in Capitol Park from Bedrock. (Fun fact: It’s been the only building in downtown Detroit that Dan Gilbert has sold.) This week, they invited guests into the newly renovated six-story building that will house a new Innovation Center.

Lear Innovation Center

It’s a great fit for Lear, who builds and designs automotive seating and electrical products. The company is based in Southfield and Lear’s President and CEO Matt Simoncini was born and raised in Detroit.

The plans for the center include developing new automotive products and technologies. Lear plans to partner extensively with the College for Creative Studies and Wayne State’s Engineering program. About 100 designers and engineers will work here, plus interns from CCS and WSU.

The 35,000-square-foot building has an open first-floor gallery and showroom, with work spaces, offices, and conference rooms on the floors above. Almost 90% of the furniture in the offices were designed or built in Detroit and/or Michigan. The stairways include artwork from local graffiti artists.

Lear Innovation Center

It also has a rooftop deck with some stellar views of Capitol Park.

Lear Innovation Center Michelle & Chris Gerard

On our walk through, we checked out the different floors, workspaces, and an unexpected set up in the basement. In the gallery, you can see the new Griswold apartments right above the roof deck!